LEOMINSTER---Muzio Donald Piermarini “Mugsy”, 93 years old, ultimately succumbed to cancer and passed away peacefully in his long-time Leominster home on Sunday, April 18, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Born into a large family on March 8, 1928, he lived in Leominster his entire life, making many friends, touching many lives, and teaching many of us about science, history, and nature. After graduating from Leominster High School in 1946, he enlisted in the US Army and served with our forces in Korea as WWII wound down. Upon his return Mugsy earned an Associate degree at Boston University, a Bachelor of Science degree at Fitchburg State Teachers’ College and Master of Science and Master of Education from Colby College in Maine. In 1950, he and his high school sweetheart, Nancy Dennis, also of Leominster, were married.
Mugsy’s teaching career began at the middle school in Ashburnham, then to May A Gallagher Jr High in Leominster for a year before he found his niche teaching science, biology, biochemistry, and mathematics at Lunenburg High School, where he was known as “Mr. P”, retiring as Science department head in 1990.
Always active in his community and his family, during the late 1960’s and 70’s, he actively participated in the ski racing program at Pheasant Run helping to run and photograph children’s ski races each weekend throughout the winter. He loved watching his children in their sports activities: baseball, swimming, football, or track.
Many in Leominster will remember Mr. P’s significant contribution during the 1960’s and later as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 1 and camp commissioner at Camp Wanocksett, the Nashoba Valley Council’s summer camp in Jaffrey, NH.
Mr. P. and Nancy chaperoned several trips of local high school students to Europe, and they traveled widely with their family, extensively exploring both the US and Europe. But Mugsy’s special destination was their summer place on Cape Cod. Enjoying the waves, the sun, the beach, the blueberry picking, as well as collecting oysters and sea clams, Mugsy would leave for the cape the day after school was out and would not come back until the day before school was starting. The summers were jam packed with close friends and full of nature. Perpetually teaching, Mugsy spent several summer seasons as a National Seashore Park Ranger, giving guided tours through the cape dunes and beach habitats.
And when Labor Day came, he would be just as active in the Leominster community. Mugsy served for many years on the Leominster Conservation Commission, was a voting warden in Ward 5B at City Hall, was active in the Unitarian Church, and more recently Mugsy was an essential member of the Leominster Historical Commission, building its value and serving as its Chair for over 20 years. For example, he was instrumental in the commission’s efforts of noting the sense of place in the city, and you can see the many signs around that indicate the name of the locale and neighborhood.
He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 71 years, one brother, Gasper of Virginia, three sisters, Esther of California, Eugenia of Arizona, and Mary of Alabama, and a plethora of his and Nancy’s progeny: six children, ten grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
His children Bruce and his wife Sue Piermarini in West Brookfield, MA, Stuart and his wife Debbie Piermarini in Canastota, NY, Donald Piermarini in San Francisco, CA, Sarah and her husband Kevin Aldrich in Manchester, NH, David and his wife Mary Piermarini in Concord, CA, and Jim and his wife Rachel Piermarini in North Brookfield, MA; grandchildren Garrett, Wesley, and Andrew Piermarini, Ryan, Kevin Piermarini, Katherine and Elizabeth Aldrich, Nicholas and Aimee Piermarini, and Jasper Piermarini; great grandchildren, Persephone, Farrah, and Yvette Piermarini, Oscar and Felix Piermarini, Fiona and Harlie Piermarini, Cameron, Shaw, and Gemma Piermarini, Emilia and Cooper Brierley, and Jack Piermarini.
The family would like to express their gratitude and thanks to the medical professionals who helped Mugsy. Especially Dr. Kamens (and Lisa), Dr Mittal (and Laura), the VNA (Alyssa, Robert), the VNA Hospice services, and Dianne, Sharon, Ivette, and Mandy from the French Connection for their kind and tender care.
Services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Leominster Historical Commission, 25 West Street, Leominster, MA 01453.
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